You know those mornings that you wake up to your children. A little high-pitched voice comes from a short, shadowy person standing uncomfortably close to your face, “Mommy, I’m hungry. I want breakfast.”
You groan and roll over, but they are persistent — and hungry. You mumble something about how you’ll “be right there,” or how “it’s really too early for breakfast,” and then manage to pull yourself out of bed and enter the lion’s den.
In the morning, I’m groggy and my brain doesn’t work quickly. I lack patience and don’t handle things like a kitchen full of hungry kids very well — at least not with a pleasant demeanor.
The benefits of ‘grounding’
I am a much better mom when I wake up before my children and have some time to prep myself for the day. Many other parents also find benefits to this approach. The authors of the blog InspiredToAction.com call it “waking up for your kids, instead of to your kids.”
At MOMentity.com, we call this “grounding” ourselves daily, and believe it is a cornerstone for successful time-management and success as a mother and individual.
Grounding yourself daily is a chance to prioritize things like a shower, journaling, meditation or scripture reading. It gives you a chance to connect to a higher source and prepare for the day ahead.
It’s my “me” time. I crave it; my soul craves it; and generally after I’ve grounded myself for the day, I can be the kind of mom that I really want to be.
When I don’t get grounding time, things don’t go so well.
Grounding gone awry
One particular morning, my son wasn’t supposed to be awake yet. I was only half way through my “me” time. As I opened the bathroom door, he leaped off my bed with a grin and a loud voice, shouting “Mommy!”
With my pointer finger shaking, I set him back on the pillow and firmly told him it was really early and he was still supposed to be asleep. I never said please. I never said good morning. I only told him that he was too noisy and he was not supposed to be up yet.
He buried his head under the pillow and cried.
There I was waking up early for my children, so I could be ready and alert and prepared for the day, and the total opposite happened.
I tried to apologize. I held him and loved him and settled him down. Thankfully he’s resilient, and I give good bear hugs.
That particular morning, I cared more about my spiritual connection than I did about the reason I try so hard to have a spiritual connection in the first place.
Now I’ve changed a few of the rules of my grounding routine. They are as follows:
- I let the kids know what I do every morning and why it’s important to me. Now if they wake up early, they can sit next to me and cuddle while I read or journal. They know they only need to wait patiently a few minutes before we begin breakfast.
- I’ve become more flexible. If my hair stays wet or I only get one verse read, then so be it. It’s a better attempt than if I had not tried at all.
- I embrace love first thing every morning. Whether my children come find me in the morning or I get to finish my grounding routine and then wake them up, I will embrace them with love and kindness rather than demands or a harsh tone.
Oh, and one more piece of advice: Don’t come out of the bathroom until you’re totally ready to face the lion cubs.
This article was originally published in Motherhood Matters on KSL.com
Image from freedigitalphotos.net